Commenting on EPA Dockets
Regulations.gov is our preferred method of receiving comments. However, other submission formats are accepted. For a complete list of all accepted types and relevant mailing addresses, visit Where to Send Comments.
On this page:
Tips for Effective Comments
A comment that expresses support or disagreement for a particular action provides general feedback to EPA. However, a comment that is constructive and provides information to support an argument is more likely to inform EPA’s decision-making process. The following tips are meant to help you prepare your comments.
- Identify the docket ID number and other identifying information (e.g., subject heading, Federal Register date and page number) in your subject line. Comments cannot be considered if they are misdirected or get lost because the identifying information was not included.
- Read and understand the document you are commenting on. If you have difficulty understanding it, please reach out to the EPA contact person named in the document. Describe that difficulty in your comments, along with the clarification you received.
- Follow directions provided. The Agency may ask you to respond to specific questions, provide particular information or organize comments in a particular way to facilitate their processing once received by EPA. If your comment is about a particular proposed regulatory provision, include the reference to the proposed part and section number for the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
- Be concise but support your claims. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and suggest alternatives.
- Base your comments on sound reasoning, scientific evidence, and/or how you will be impacted by the agency’s proposal. Describe any assumptions and provide the technical information and/or data that you used. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.
- Address trade-offs and opposing views.
- The comment process is not a vote – one well-supported comment is often more informative to the agency than a thousand form letters.
- Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified in the Federal Register document.
- View the rules and restrictions on comments to be sure you submit an appropriate comment.
More advice for commenters can be found at Regulations.gov's Tips for Submitting Effective Comments.
Rules and Restrictions
Comments submitted to the EPA, including any personal information that is in the body of the submission, will be posted to Regulations.gov and are also made available for in-person viewing at the EPA Docket Center’s Reading Room with the following exceptions:
- Comments containing threatening language or profanity will be rejected without notice from the EPA.
- Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make.
- EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system).
- The inclusion of any copyrighted material without accompanying proof of one's explicit right to redistribute that material will result in the comment being blocked from online viewing at Regulations.gov.
- Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute should never be sent to EPA electronically via Regulations.gov or e-mail. If you have any questions about submitting CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, please contact the EPA Docket Center at 202-566-1744, or send a message to Docket Customer Service (Docketemail@example.com) for guidance.
- If you wish to include CBI in your comment, clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a non-CBI copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information marked as CBI will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.
- If you wish to include other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute in your comment, clearly mark your submission as including that information. Information so marked will be processed by the EPA Docket Center in accordance with the applicable statute.
- Mass Mail Campaigns have special posting guidelines:
- In instances where individual submissions are deemed to be duplicate or near duplicate copies as part of a mass mail campaign, EPA will post to Regulations.gov one representative sample comment along with the total comment count for that campaign.
- In instances where submissions are bundled together (submitted as a single document or packaged together), EPA will post to Regulations.gov all comments along with the total comment count for that campaign. This includes hardcopy - handwritten bundled campaigns which are scanned into PDF document attachments and posted on Regulations.gov along with the total comment count for that campaign.
- The exception is a bundled campaign of hardcopy comments that are form letters and form postcards. In this instance, one representative sample comment along with the total comment count for that campaign is posted to Regulations.gov.
|Submission Type||Posting Overview|
|Individual Mass Mail Campaign|
|Web||Post One Representative Sample|
|Bundled Mass Mail Campaign|
|Web||Post All Comments|
|Hardcopy- Form letters/form postcards||Post One Representative Sample|
Public Comment Data
Collected Public Comment Data
The comment form data fields on Regulations.gov were standardized for all agencies as of February 19, 2021. This is known as the Beta Regulation.gov comment form, and the standardized comment form data fields are listed below.
|Comment Form Data Field||Type of Commenter|
Legend: N/A = Not Applicable
Prior to June 4, 2019, individual agencies could select which comment form data fields they made available on the comment form. This is known as the Classic Regulations.gov comment form, and EPA’s comment form data fields are listed below.
|Comment Form Data Field||Environmental Protection Agency|
|State or Province||N/A|
|Government Agency Type (i.e., Federal/ State/Local)||Optional|
|Category (e.g., Academia, Consumer Group, Individual Consumer)||N/A|
Legend: N/A = Not Available. Indicates that a data field was not made available to a commenter on the EPA’s electronic comment form.
Between June 4, 2019 and February 18, 2021, both versions of the comment form, Beta and Classic, were made available to commenters. Comment data collected depends upon which version of Regulations.gov the commenter selected to submit their comment.
It should also be noted that despite public comment data fields not being made available through the electronic comment form, some commenters may have included that information within the comment text or an attachment. Additionally, comments received outside of the electronic comment form (i.e., email, postcard) may also include similar information. In these instances, EPA may populate the relevant comment data field and the comment title with the provided information to assist data users with search and retrieval.
Available Public Comment Data
Comments submitted to the EPA, including any personal information that is in the body of the submission, will be posted to Regulations.gov and are also made available for in-person viewing at the EPA Docket Center’s Reading Room with the exceptions noted in our Rules and Restrictions section.
Regulations.gov makes public comment data available through the web interface, bulk comment data download feature, and Application Programming Interface (API). Requests for documentation on which comment form data fields collected by EPA are made available to data users should be directed to the General Services Administration (GSA), as the manager of Regulations.gov, by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or through Regulations.gov Support.